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Aunt Esther's Sugar Cookies


I have no idea who Aunt Esther is/was, but I'd sure like to thank her for this recipe. The first time I tasted these, I asked my friend if they'd share the recipe-- and they did! I've made many delicious sugar cookie recipes, but this one is now ranked #1 favorite cookie all all time-- by my family and friends. When cooked, they are crispy and buttery. You can use only vanilla extract, but now I'm enjoying adding pure almond favorite! Either way, they're like potato chips in that I promise you can't eat just one.

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Rate this recipe 4/5 (2 Votes)


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (variation, use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon pure almond extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sparkling sugar, for garnish and crunch


Servings 36
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 30mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk the dry ingredients together, and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar and mix for about 1 minute.

Add the eggs, one at a time

Add the vegetable oil and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients, a bit at a time, just until combined. Don't over-mix.

For best results, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a Silpat).

NOTE: The dough will be soft, so a cookie scoop makes the task a lot easier. Otherwise, chill the dough for at least 15 minutes, if you don't have a cookie scoop.

I like to use a 2-inch cookie scoop to measure 12 cookies per sheet, spaced about 2" apart. With the flat of your palm (I lightly moistened my hands with water so the dough doesn't stick), gently press the cookie down just enough to flatten it out to be even.

Sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.

The cookies should be slightly brown around the edges.

Allow them to cool for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Once the cookies are completely cool, they will be crunchy, with a tender texture on the inside.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies. If you make 1-inch cookies, you should have 5 to 6 dozen.

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